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North, South Korea Discuss Pyongyang's Nuclear Program - 2003-04-27


South Korea and North Korea are beginning high-level talks in Pyongyang. Seoul plans to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, which violates the two countries' pledge to not have nuclear arms.

South Korea's Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun says Seoul's firm position is that North Korea should not have nuclear weapons. At ministerial talks that begin today (Sunday), he wants to persuade Pyongyang to give up its weapons program.

Seoul's delegates plan to point out that North Korea has violated a 1991 pledge to keep the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

Before heading for Pyongyang, Mr. Jeong said the situation has become more complicated since U.S. and North Korean officials met a few days ago in Beijing. U.S. officials say that at the meeting, North Korea claimed to have nuclear weapons.

Tensions have been rising on the peninsula since October, when the United States said Pyongyang had admitted having a secret nuclear weapons program, in violation of several accords.

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